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Volume 24 Issue 6 - March 2019

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Something Old, Something New! The Ide(a)s of March are Upon Us! Rob Harris's Rear View Mirror looks forward to a tonal revival; Tafelmusik expands their chronological envelope in two directions, Esprit makes wave after wave; Pax Christi's new oratorio by Barbara Croall catches the attention of our choral and new music columnists; and summer music education is our special focus, right when warm days are once again possible to imagine. All this and more in our March 2019 edition, available in flipthrough here, and on the stands starting Thursday Feb 28.

KAPPA KIKKAS Castilian

KAPPA KIKKAS Castilian String Quartet assembled a shortlist of five quartets which were then observed in at least two concerts during the course of a year, always without the musicians’ knowledge. According to the award announcement, “The aspects that were evaluated included their professional approach, repertoire, programming, the artistic quality of the concerts, their musical profile, and also the imagination and innovation displayed by the musicians. Their artistic career to date and recordings, where applicable, were also evaluated.” The award is an initiative of Wolfgang Habermayer, owner of Merito Financial Solutions, and Valentin Erben, founding cellist of the Alban Berg Quartet. “The critical factor for us is how the young musicians behave in ‘everyday life’ on the concert stage,” said award co-founder Erben. “The human warmth and aura radiated by these four young people played a key role. They are never just putting on a show – the music is always close to their heart. You can feel their intense passion for playing in a quartet.” The Castalian String Quartet performs in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre of the Four Seasons Centre in a COC free noon-hour concert on April 4. The program includes Haydn’s String Quartet Op.76, No.2 “Fifths” (a reflection of the Castalians’ passion for the inventor of the string quartet), and Britten’s String Quartet No.2, written just after WWII to mark the 250th anniversary of Henry Purcell’s death. Mariam Batsashvili Women’s Musical Club of Toronto Now in her mid-20s, Georgian pianist Mariam Batsashvili is another promising young artist. She began studying the piano at four; by seven, “completely in love with the instrument,” she knew she wanted to be a pianist for the rest of her life. She gained international recognition at the tenth Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Utrecht in 2014, where she won First Prize as well as the Junior Jury Award and the Press Prize. This success led to performances with leading symphony orchestras, and to an extensive program of recitals in more than 30 countries. She was nominated by the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) as Rising Star for the 2016/17 season. A BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, she is performing at major festivals and concert venues across the UK as part of that award. Her comprehensive April 4 recital in the Music in the Afternoon series of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto begins with Busoni’s soaring arrangement of Bach’s iconic Chaconne from Partita No. 2 for violin, BWV 1004, taps into Schubert’s fountain of lyricism, the Impromptu Op.142, No.1 D935, moves on to Mozart’s haunting Rondo in A Minor, K511 and Liszt’s virtuosic Hungarian Rhapsody No.12; then concludes with Beethoven’s notoriously difficult Sonata No.29 in B-flat Major, Op.106 “Hammerklavier.” In Walter Hall; just a few weeks after a performance in London’s Wigmore Hall. Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society Janina Fialkowska’s March 11 recital for the Kitchener- Waterloo Chamber Music Society, marking her 37th year of performing for KWCMS, features an ambitious, wellpacked program that begins with Mozart’s beloved Sonata in A Major, K310. An impromptu by Germaine Tailleferre; a nocturne by Fauré; an intermezzo by Poulenc; two pieces by Debussy; and Ravel’s Sonatine – a selection of music by French composers, reminiscent of a French program by Fialkowska’s teacher, Arthur Rubinstein – lead into three mazurkas, a nocturne (Op.55, No.2), scherzo (No.3) and ballade (No.4) by Chopin (the composer with whom she is most identified) performed in Fialkowska’s inimitable style. Later in the month, clarinetist James Campbell joins the Penderecki String Quartet for Brahms’ splendid Clarinet Quintet. Dvořák’s Quartet No.10 in E-flat Major, Op.51, “Slavonic” is the other major work on the March 20 program. Timothy Steeves steps away from his usual role as pianist with Duo Concertante for a recital of four adventurous Haydn sonatas on April 1, his second all-Haydn recital for the KWCMS. Music Toronto Danny Driver’s March 5 recital was the subject of my conversation in our February issue with the Hyperion Records artist, who “may be the best pianist you’ve never heard.” Works by CPE Bach, Schumann, Saariaho, Ravel and Madtner will be performed by this uncompromising artist who demands a lot of himself: “When I feel I have come close [to achieving what I set out to achieve artistically], it’s an intensely rewarding experience.” The following week on March 14, the Lafayette String Quartet – artists-in-residence at the University of Victoria since 1991 – who have spent more than 30 years together with no changes in personnel – partners with the Saguenay (formed in 1989 as the Alcan) String Quartet to perform three string octets. Join them in this rare opportunity to hear Niels Gade’s String Octet in F Major, Op.17, Russian-Canadian Airat Ichmouratov’s String Octet in G Minor, Op.56, “The Letter” and Mendelssohn’s deservedly famous Octet in E-flat Major, Op.20. The Saguenay String Quartet) and the Lafayette have played together many times, a reflection of their special musical bond and creative friendship. CLASSICAL AND BEYOND QUICK PICKS !! MAR 8, 8PM AND 9, 2:30 & 8PM: Critically acclaimed violinist Nikki Chooi is the soloist in Vivaldi’s indispensable The Four Seasons with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Nicolas Ellis, who was recently named artistic partner to Yannick Nézet- Séguin and the Orchestre Métropolitain for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons, leads the KWS in Beethoven’s essential Symphony No.6 “Pastoral.” !! MAR 9, 7:30 AND 10, 3PM: Gemma New leads the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich’s kinetic Symphony No.5; Kelly Zimba, flute, and Heidi Van Hoesen Gorton, harp, take charge of Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp K299/297c, the first work Mozart ever wrote for that combination of soloists. 24 | March 2019 thewholenote.com

!! MAR 10, 2:30PM: Bradley Thachuk leads the Niagara Symphony Orchestra and TSO concertmaster Jonathan Crow in Sibelius’ richly Romantic Violin Concerto Op.47. Sibelius’ satisfying Symphony No.3 completes the nod to the great Finnish composer. !! MAR 16, 7:30PM: Gemma New conducts the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in a heavenly program featuring Debussy’s hypnotic Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and his impressionistic Nocturnes. Holst’s riveting The Planets completes the exciting evening. !! MAR 20, 2:30PM: Georgian Music brings the Lafayette and Saguenay String Quartets to Barrie for a repeat of their Music Toronto program of March 14 headed by Mendelssohn’s youthful masterwork, his Octet in E-flat Major, Op.20. !! MAR 23, 7:30PM: Barrie Concerts presents the Penderecki String Quartet in an evening of Dvořák’s chamber music. Included are the composer’s String Quartet No.10 “Slavonic” and, aided by pianist Benjamin Smith, both of his piano quintets, the second of which (Op.81) is one of the masterpieces of the form. !! MAR 23, 7:30PM: The Oakville Chamber Orchestra celebrates their 35th anniversary with a performance of Bach’s Six Brandenburg Concertos, an invigorating choice of music for such an auspicious occasion. !! MAR 27 AND 28, 8PM: Gunther Herbig, TSO music director from 1989 to 1994, conducts two pillars of the 19th-century repertoire: Schubert’s moving Symphony No. 8 “Unfinished” and Bruckner’s Symphony No.9, Gemma New the fourth movement of which the composer left unfinished on the day he died, leaving only the first three movements complete. !! MAR 30, 7PM: Mandle Cheung continues to realize his conducting dream, leading his orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 (Kevin Ahfat is the soloist) and Mahler’s titanic Symphony No.1. !! MAR 30, 8PM: The Canadian Sinfonietta, with guest violist Rivka Golani, mark the onset of spring with the world premiere of David Jaeger’s Raven Concerto for viola and chamber orchestra, Copland’s lovely Appalachian Spring, Britten’s Lachrymae Op.48a for viola and strings and Elgar’s Serenade for Strings. Tak Ng Lai conducts. !! MAR 30, 8PM AND 31, 2PM: The Oakville Symphony celebrates the musical friendship between Brahms (Symphony No.2) and Dvořák (Violin Concerto). Leslie Ashworth is the violin soloist; Robert De Clara, music director since 1997, conducts. !! APR 7, 1PM: Gramophone magazine called American-born Marina Piccinini “the Heifetz of the flute.” Find out why at the RCM free (ticket required) concert at Mazzoleni Hall; with Benjamin Smith, piano. !! APR 7, 3PM: RCM presents the justly celebrated American pianist Richard Goode in an all- Beethoven recital that includes the “Pastoral,” “Moonlight” and “Les adieux” sonatas, and selections from the Op.119 Bagatelles, all topped off by the master’s final sonata, the celestial Op.111. Paul Ennis is the managing editor of The WholeNote. FRED STUCKER MANDLE PHILHARMONIC MAHLER & TCHAIKOVSKY Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 in B♭ minor, Op. 23, Mahler Symphony No.1 in D major “Titan” MANDLE CHEUNG, CONDUCTOR KEVIN AHFAT, PIANIST SATURDAY MARCH 30, 2019 | 7PM Toronto Centre for the Arts www.mandelphil.com 647-892-8251 TICKETS: | (SENIORS OVER 65, STUDENTS 18 AND UNDER, AND CHILDREN) thewholenote.com March 2019 | 25

Volumes 21-24 (2015-2018)

Volume 24 Issue 6 - March 2019
Volume 24 Issue 5 - February 2019
Volume 24 Issue 4 - December 2018 / January 2019
Volume 24 Issue 3 - November 2018
Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018
Volume 23 Issue 7 - April 2018
Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
Volume 23 Issue 3 - November 2017
Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
Volume 21 Issue 3 - November 2015
Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)